Posted tagged ‘facebook’

Google+ is superset of both Facebook and Twitter


It may be too early to express opinions about something so new as Google+, but in the short few days I was playing with it, I started to like it a lot. Many bloggers consider it to be a Facebook killer – and it (unlike two previous Google attempts on social networking) eventually may become that. Conceptually, however  it is much closer to Twitter than Facebook.

The biggest difference is that in G+ there is no peer relation – “friendship” that needs to be confirmed by both parties. Both ends are disconnected in Google+ – set of people whose updates you see in your stream and set of people that see your updates is not the same and can be in extreme case disjunct.

In G+, like in Twitter, everybody chooses set of people whose updates you want to see – you “follow” people. This following does not require any approval on their end. Unlike Twitter, you can easily organize the people you follow into groups (circles) and with single click limit the news stream only to members of this group (where one person can be in many groups). It is like having multiple Twitter accounts, each with different set of people followed and switching identities.

On broadcasting side, you can select the target audience for each post by addressing the message to be visible publicly (Twitter default), by any member of your circles, your extended circles (kind of “friends of friends”), one or several named circles, or even named set of people from your circles. Whether your message will actually appear in their message stream depends on whether the addressee did add you into their circles. Twitter does allow you only public updates. (Yes, ok, there are “protected tweets” by who uses them ?). Facebook allows you updates only for all your friends or single FB group.

For example, I have group named Following with members like Andy Ihnatko, Leo Laporte, Leo Babauta and other internet celebrities. Clicking on the circle will show me all public updates from these people, but it would contain none of the posts made e.g. by Andy for his circles – of which I am not member of. Similarly, should I post an update for the “Following” circle, Andy would never see it in his news stream (despite of that I do have him in my circles) as I am not member of his circles. This way Google created incredibly flexible framework that can deliver any mode of communication available from Twitter and Facebook:

1) Twitter following: see above
2) Facebook friends: both parties add the other to circles
3) Facebook groups: named circle (plus possibility of multiple groups and administration that does not suck)
4) Friends of friends: extended circles
5) direct message to person (in your circles): update with single person recipient

What G+ does not have (yet) are applications/games and public developer API. I am pretty sure that promised availability of the later will cause the explosion in the first. It will be very interesting to see the impact of this new, much more flexible “trust model” on the kinds of applications available.

Facebook or LinkedIn – that’s the question


Few weeks ago, I canceled my Twitter account and stopped using Twitter altogether. I do not miss it at all.

The next vector of distraction to be brought under control is Facebook. This is a tougher nut to crack – because of wide variety of people in my circle of friends, Facebook plays many different roles.

  • It is a connection to old friends and colleagues from the old continent and old country.
  • It is a family connection.
  • It is a connection to people that are not on FB through their friends or relatives that are.
  • It is a link to people I worked with and wanted to keep in touch.
  • It is a link to people I share common interest with

This variety creates a problem of itself (which is multiplied by English/non English division).  Tool that does too many things, does not do them very well.

Honestly, I do not understand how some people can maintain hundreds of “friends”. The group of this size generates so much noise, so many updates that the news stream becomes close to useless. One can always hide updates from most significant  “link spammers” but that opens up a question: is there any point in providing a view into your life to somebody whose updates you do not read anyway ?

First attempt to solve this is to separate the “private world” and work. In my case, there is no clear boundary as I am fortunate to work with so many of my close personal friends (many of which are on FB) and in my current employment I am lucky to consider many of the people I work with to be much more than just work buddies. Nevertheless, my goal is to get down to two digit number of Facebook friends.

To achieve that, I would like to ask some of my current Facebook friends to reconnect on LinkedIn. I absolutely want to stay in touch,  just using different channel.

My public profile is

See you there